I would love it if my readers checked out this link: it is dead-on. I have done all the things on this list as well as the following (Note: this is not necessarily a list of what women should do to avoid harassment, but what many women actually do on a regular basis. Ideally, you wouldn’t/shouldn’t need to do these things.):
-No longer going to cafes/restaurants alone – even though reading/working at coffeeshops used to be a favorite pastime – because there is a high chance that random creepy strangers will approach me, and interrupt what I’m doing to hit on me/give me unwanted attention.
-No longer taking walks/jogging outdoors, even in daylight.
-Purposefully dressing frumpily to avoid looking pretty/the least bit glamorous. I now avoid dresses and skirts like the plague.
I would also like to highlight the parts of the list that accurately apply to me:
-Actually becoming suspicious of any/all men on public transportation, just because I have had too many instances where one tried to hit on me, and didn’t relent after I said I wasn’t interested;
-Avoiding eye contact/smiling. You know that awkward moment sometimes when you accidentally make eye contact with a stranger? 50% of the time this happened with a male, he took it as an opportunity to hit on me (not cool.)
-Avoiding small talk with strange men. In my experience, if a strange guy approaches you with a seemingly innocent questions like “do you know how to get to….? or “what is the time?”, they are just looking for an excuse to converse with you. This in itself isn’t a problem, but like I mentioned before, many people don’t leave you alone when you express disinterest in having a conversation.
-Being the target of staring (always creepy and rude.)
-Being afraid to meet by myself maintenance guys, electricians, and landlords because they have tried to hit on me in the past.
Aaand finally…Annoying typical reaction whenever I complain about the above situations:
-Being told that I shouldn’t complain and just get over myself by people who have not had the same experiences. This is in spite of the fact that many of these people openly complain about how they hate small talk, don’t like it when random people solicit them (usually for charity donations and such), and being bothered by strangers in general. However, if I complain about it, I’m being irrational and paranoid.